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Awakening the Senses

A new Queenstown wellbeing practice incorporating a sauna and cold water immersion experience evolved from the need for community connection in response to mental health issues created by Covid-19 lockdowns.

Managing director Rick Gutzewitz says he and his former business partner Adam Chalmers created a project they called Wellbeing Friday which gave people free sessions in the Queenstown Gardens for eight months in the areas of movement, massage, philosophy jams, meditation and mindfulness, and was widely supported.

Rick has a film industry background and is a fully qualified personal trainer and massage therapist, working previously at the award-winning Aro Ha Wellness Retreat as a retreat leader.

He says following the Wellbeing Friday project, which was commended by the Queenstown Lakes Council for its positive focus, he and Adam celebrated the summer solstice at a festival known as Ancient Future.

“ Adam had his mobile eight-person wood fired barrel sauna and I brought a marquee for chill space. We soon realised we had curated something very special where people could connect and relax after a day of partying and dancing.”

Enter Wellspace NZ a sauna and cold water immersion experience designed to create a sense of vigour and renewal.

“The Wellspace experience involves 15-minute sessions in a bespoke 80-90 degree sauna followed by cold water immersion/ ice bath then breath work while resting in our outdoor lounge and refuelling at our hydration station,” says Rick.

“Contrast hydrotherapy in nature is at the core and can be curated for any experience. It is ideal for corporate bookings, work functions, day retreats, private celebrations and any acres occasions. It can even be hired out for weddings.”

Wellspace operates from a private property alongside the Kawarau River and is close to Frankton and easily accessible.  

“What makes it truly exceptional is our epic riverside location where people can relax, connect, converse and celebrate in nature,” says Rick. “For events we can hire DJs for dancing, heat up the BBQ and pizza oven and offer external services including mobile massage, health practitioners and educators.”

Rick now owns the business outright and the feedback is all positive.

“ The sauna improves blood flow and circulation, relieves physical tension, supports the immune system, improve lung function and sleep quality and speeds up metabolism. It also supports the natural immune system and strengthens mental resilience. Cold water immersion increases injury recovery, reducing inflammation and toxicity, aids in fat loss and improves energy, so combing the two makes for an exceptional treatment.”

“I feel grateful to be running such a cool business that makes meaningful change to people’s lives. Watching people at ease and come alive is why I love my job so much.”

To make a Wellspace NZ booking:  wellspacenz.com